Best Ever Molasses Cookies

101
Please Share the Goodness!

Our Best Ever Molasses Cookies have a dreamy soft center with a lightly crunchy exterior. A delectable blend of flavors that create the perfect spiced cookie. And they come together in a snap. After resting in the fridge the dough is rolled and then coated in superfine sugar to produce a crispy crunchy bite that immediately gives way to a soft tender center. 

Stack of Molasses Cookies, tied with twine

Molasses cookies have a long and flavorful history that dates back centuries. The use of molasses in baking can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Greeks, who prized molasses for its sweetness and versatility.

In colonial America, molasses became a staple ingredient due to its affordability and accessibility. Molasses cookies quickly became a beloved treat among early settlers, as molasses provided a rich, robust flavor that complemented other simple ingredients like flour, butter, and spices.

During the 19th century, molasses cookies gained popularity as a comforting and economical treat, especially during times of scarcity or hardship. They were often enjoyed as a special indulgence during festive occasions and holidays.

Over time, molasses cookies evolved to incorporate a variety of spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, adding depth and complexity to their flavor profile. These spiced molasses cookies became synonymous with warmth, comfort, and hospitality, making them a cherished part of American culinary tradition.

Today, molasses cookies continue to be enjoyed around the world, with countless variations and adaptations to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether enjoyed with a glass of milk as an afternoon snack or shared with friends and family during the holiday season, molasses cookies remain a timeless favorite that celebrates the rich history and enduring appeal of this beloved sweet treat.

The Making of Molasses: From Sugar Cane to Sweet Syrup

Ingredients for Best Ever Molasses Cookies brown and white sugar beaten with eggs and molasses in a large glass bowl.

Molasses is a thick, dark syrup that is derived from the sugar refining process. Here’s how it’s made:

  1. Harvesting Sugar Cane: Molasses production begins with the harvesting of sugar cane, a tall, tropical grass that is cultivated in regions with warm climates.

  2. Extracting Juice: The sugar cane stalks are crushed to extract the juice, which is rich in natural sugars.

  3. Clarifying the Juice: The extracted juice is then clarified to remove impurities and debris. This is typically done by heating the juice and adding lime to help precipitate out the impurities.

  4. Boiling Down: The clarified juice is transferred to large, shallow pans where it is boiled down to evaporate the water content. As the juice boils, it thickens into a dark, viscous syrup.

  5. Separating Sugar Crystals: During the boiling process, sugar crystals begin to form and are removed from the syrup. The remaining liquid is further boiled to concentrate the sugar content.

  6. Final Product: The resulting syrup is molasses, which can vary in color and flavor depending on the degree of sugar extraction and boiling time. Light molasses is produced from the first boiling and has a mild flavor, while dark molasses is derived from subsequent boilings and has a stronger, more robust flavor. Blackstrap molasses is the darkest and most concentrated type, with a rich, bittersweet taste.

Molasses is commonly used as a sweetener in baking and cooking, adding depth and richness to a variety of dishes. Its distinctive flavor and nutrient content make it a popular choice for everything from gingerbread cookies to barbecue sauce.

Overhead photo of a stack of Molasses Cookies, tied with twine and sitting on newspaper

Strategies for Crafting Irresistible Molasses Cookies

  • Use Dark Molasses! Light molasses does not pack the flavor punch of dark, and Black Molasses is bitter, too thick and does not allow the cookies to bake correctly.
  • Use shortening! You don’t make these all the time, make them the right way. Don’t sub butter or margarine for this recipe. While butter is delicious, after years of making these cookies, shortening produces a light, fluffy beautiful cookie.
  • The cookies are finished baking once the edges are set and they start to crack on top. When you remove them from the oven they will have a wet sheen on the tops, it’s normal. Take them out and allow them to sit on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, they’ll finish cooking and firm up while resting.
Best Ever Molasses Cookies on a sheet pan

Please Pin to Make & Share!📌

Overhead photo of a stack of Molasses Cookies, tied with twine and sitting on newspaper that has been scattered with white flower buds.

How to Make Best Ever Molasses Cookies

Stack of Molasses Cookies, tied with twine and sitting on a newspaper.

Best Ever Molasses Cookies

Our Best Ever Molasses Cookies have a dreamy soft center with a lightly crunchy exterior. A delectable blend of flavors that create the perfect spiced cookie. And they come together in a snap!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 80 cookies (approx.)
Author: Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (307 grams) shortening
  • 1 cup (213 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (213 grams) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (340 grams) molasses
  • 5 cups (600 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt or Kosher sea salt, finely ground
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg, ground
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, ground (powdered not root)
  • 2 teaspoons all spice
  • 1 cup (100 grams) white sugar, reserved for rolling

Instructions

  • Add the shortening, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and eggs to a large mixing bowl.
    Ingredients for Best Ever Molasses Cookies brown and white sugar with eggs in a large glass bowl
  • Beat on medium-high speed until creamed, light and fluffy about 2 minutes.
    Ingredients for Best Ever Molasses Cookies brown and white sugar with eggs in a large glass bowl beaten together.
  • Pour in the molasses.
    Ingredients for Best Ever Molasses Cookies brown and white sugar beaten with eggs and molasses in a large glass bowl.
  • Beat the molasses until well blended, about 2 minutes. 
    Ingredients for Best Ever Molasses Cookies beaten in a large glass bowl.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients and stir by hand until well incorporated. 
    Ingredients for Best Ever Molasses Cookies flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg in a large glass bowl.
  • Cover and chill for 2 hours in the fridge. 
    Ingredients for Best Ever Molasses Cookie Dough in an airtight container ready to be chilled.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • Roll dough into small balls and then roll in the reserved 1/2 cup (100 grams) of white sugar. 
    Close up of Best Ever Molasses Cookie dough rolled into a ball and coated in superfine white sugar in a white bowl on a white marbled background countertop.
  • Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes until the cookies begin to crisp slightly in the outside, crack and you can see a soft center showing through the cracks.
    Freshly baked Best Ever Molasses Cookie close up showing crispyness of the outside of the cookie. Cooling on parchment.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool. 
    Freshly baked Best Ever Molasses Cookie close up showing crispyness of the outside of the cookie. Cooling on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Notes

  • Prep time is approximate.
  • This recipe can be halved.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container in a cool dry place, cookies will remain fresh up to a week. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Indulge in the decadent charm of our Pecan Pie Cookies. These delightful treats capture all the rich flavors of traditional pecan pie in a bite-sized delight. With a soft, chewy texture that melts in your mouth, the perfect balance of nutty, and sweet,

Indulge in the quintessential flavors of autumn with our Harvest Hearth Pumpkin Pie. This delectable dessert encapsulates the essence of the season, featuring a velvety smooth pumpkin filling infused with a blend of warm spices

Step Into My Kitchen!

Hey there, fellow food enthusiast! Welcome to Mean Green Chef, where every dish tells a story and every recipe is a labor of love. I’m thrilled to share a bit about myself and the journey that led me here, stirring pots and sprinkling spices for over three decades!

Let’s Cook Together!

* indicates required

Just a quick heads up – you might notice some affiliate links sprinkled throughout our site. If you decide to click on them and make a purchase, rest assured, it won’t cost you extra. Instead, you’ll be helping to support our blog and keep the kitchen fires burning. Thanks a bunch for your support!

    Please Share the Goodness!

    Join the Conversation

      1. Thanks so much, Tamar, so glad that you like them! 🙂

    1. These look so good! I’m adding them to my holiday cookie baking list. I can’t wait to try them 🙂

      1. Awesome, Tamera! These are our favorite cookies here 🙂

    2. Just made a batch of these. They are awesome! They look perfect with great flavor and texture.

      1. Love to hear this, I’m so glad that you enjoyed our Molasses Cookies, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review, Gillian! Much appreciated 🙂

    3. These are by far the best molasses cookies I’ve ever had! This is my 3rd holiday season I’ve been making them in a row. I am soo obsessed with them that last year I made a batch for my mom and sister and ended up eating them all before I was supposed to drop them off! Thank you so so much for this lovely recipe that I will forever be making every year! 🙂

      1. Thank you so much, Chelsea! I am so happy to hear you love these, they always disappear quickly!

    5 from 2 votes

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Close
    Mean Green Chef © Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.
    Close
    Verified by MonsterInsights